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Old Mar 28, 2011, 11:27 AM   #1
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Default DA & DA L lens

Pentax offers the DA L lens with the kit cameras. What is the difference between the DA and DA L lens? There is no listing on their lens page for the DA Lís.
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Old Mar 28, 2011, 2:43 PM   #2
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The DA-L lenses are bundled with the Kx and Kr and not sold separately. They have the same optics as the DA lenses, but don't come with lens hoods (the DA lenses do) and don't have a distance gauge (something Pentax seems to be getting away from, but the DA equivalent lenses have them). They may also have plastic mounts vs. metal mounts, but I'm not quite sure about that (my version 1 kit lens isn't used much at all, can't quite remember if the mount is metal or not). They are cost-effective if you buy them in the kit with the camera - lots of people buy the camera that way and then sell off the DA-L lenses, if they already have other lenses to cover the appropriate lengths. Since they are optically the same, there's no quality difference to the pictures, so at least the 18-55 is worth the little extra they charge for it.
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Old Mar 28, 2011, 3:57 PM   #3
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Good information.

The lens does have a plastic mount and doesnít have the distance indicator information. I have an 18-135 coming to replace my Sigma 18-125 so along with the 18-55 and 50-200 I should be in good shape. I now have a Sigma 18-125 and a Sigma 28-300 to sell. Anyone interestrd?
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Old Mar 28, 2011, 4:39 PM   #4
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G'day RR

could be tempted for the 28-300
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Old Mar 28, 2011, 11:03 PM   #5
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Hi rr,

To add one more difference between the DA and DA-L series lenses, the DA versions of these lenses have Quick Shift focusing which means that you can manually focus the lens while the AF motor is not running. This may not seem like a very useful feature, but it is. I use AF almost exclusively as I'm horribly inadequate at focusing manually. In very low light, manually prefocusing a lens can allow the AF to find final focus, and is a good way to get the most out of optically slower lenses in low light.

Also, if the scene is confusing to the AF sensor -- the easiest example I can think of is an animal looking out at you from behind some tall grass, QS focusing lets you override the AF system's choice and touch up the focus to where you want it to be, in this case, the animal and not the grass.

I have a DA 18-250, and my only disappointment with the lens is that as a rebadged Tamron, it doesn't have the QS focusing that other DA series lenses have. I do have a work around -- finding a high contrast border close to the intended focus plane with AF, then retry focusing on the subject. I just can't get used to fumbling with the AF-S/AF-C/MF switch on the body then moving the same hand to MF the lens, then return the focus mode switch to return to AF mode. . . spoiled I guess.

I'd pay considerably more for a lens with QS and a hood. The plastic mount doesn't make much difference to me, but I do prefer a metal mount (just a confidence thing). I could buy a DA-L lens and buy a hood, but I know I'd find too many situations where I missed the QS focusing. . .

Just my 2Ę on this subject.

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